Monday, February 18, 2013

Merchant Services in Van Buren County

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition is active in working with businesses to ensure that they are aware of the Iowa law as it relates to the sale of alcohol. They provide a variety of resources and assistance to any businesses in Van Buren County, these resources include materials, trainings, and assistance with policy change. The coalition also works closely with the Iowa Alcoholic and Beverages division to ensure that all license regulations are being met by license holders.  Services are FREE and are provided at your convenience.


·   FREE to All Businesses in Van Buren County
·   How to properly check an ID
·   Examples of fake and authentic forms of identification
·   Conveniently located– within the county or at your place of business
·   “Could” lower your dram insurance*
·   Information on semi-annual compliance checks
·   All Businesses and employees completing the merchant training will receive certificates of completion valid for two years.
*Each insurance provider has their own policies– you need to check with your insurance provider to determine the discount, if any.
·   Manager Training Binders
·   “We Card” Calendars, Stickers, Door Clings, Window Clings
·   ID card tip sheet
·   Laminated reference sheets
·   Current laws and fines– updated information on current Iowa Laws
·   Fact Sheets
·   Examples of fake and authentic forms of identification
·   Resources for identification checking machines
·   Need something? Just ask– we can probably get it!
·   Ensure that the patrons you are   serving and selling alcohol to are of legal age
·   The SAFE Coalition can assist in:
o       Writing policies for minors in establishments that serve alcohol
o       Providing signage to ensure the policies are followed
o       Training of the policies with all employees of the establishment
o       Developing policies for underage drinking issues

Want more information on these or any of our services?  Contact us at 319-293-6412 or at or check us out on the web at  To sign up for the quarterly Merchant Circle publication provided by the coalition please email and request a copy today!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tobacco Products – What’s New?

Tobacco products like everything else are changing all the time and as parents, staff and adults in general it is hard to keep up with the changes and products that youth are being exposed to. 

Why are these products a problem? One reason is that they are causing problems with education, students who use tobacco are absent from school more frequently.  Another reason is that these products are getting into the hands of the wrong people. The poison control centers have documented dissolvable tobacco products as the source of nicotine overdose in children and there are countless e-cigarettes, snus and dissolvable tobacco products that come in a variety of flavors, targeting a younger population.

So what are these products?
Dissolvable Tobacco products include items like Orbs, Strips and Sticks. 
  • Orbs contain the same amount of nicotine as one cigarette.  This product dissolves in your mouth within 10-15 minutes and the ingestion of 11-14 orbs could be fatal to a small child. 
  • Strips are a product that looks similar to a melt away breath freshener.  They dissolve in your mouth within 2-3 minutes and a single strip contains roughly the same amount of nicotine as one cigarette.
  • Sticks resemble a toothpick and take 20-25 minutes to dissolve in your mouth.  These are meant to be used much like a toothpick, or you can break off a small piece and place it between your lip and gums.  Containing three times more nicotine than a cigarette, this product could be fatal to an infant or child if ingested.
Other Tobacco Products to be aware of are:
  • Hookah which is when smoke is filtered through a bowl of water and then drawn through a rubber hose to a mouthpiece where it is inhaled.  Hookah contains 36 times more tar, 1.7 times more nicotine and 8.4 times more carbon monoxide than cigarettes.
  • E-Cigarettes are electronic cigarettes that according to the FDA are a device that allows users to inhale a vapor containing nicotine.  There is currently no scientific evidence establishing the safety of e-cigarettes.
Be aware of the products youth are exposed to and ask questions of your teen about use. This will help make sure these products don’t get in the wrong hands! 

For more information on these unregulated tobacco products please feel free to visit the SAFE Coalition information table at the Van Buren Parent Teachers conferences. These will be held February 18-21, 2013 at both the high school and elementary school. Please check with the school for exact dates and times at each center.  Ready to Quit or know someone who does want to quit?  Iowa Quitline can help! 1-800-Quit-Now (1-800-784-8669).


Friday, February 1, 2013

Van Buren Community High School YLC Members National Drug Facts Week Flash Mob January 29, 2013 during the boys varsity basketball game!

Busy week for Van Buren YLC Members!

The week of January 28th – February 3rd, 2013 was National Drug Facts Week and the Van Buren Youth Leadership Council (YLC) members were very busy with activities. 
Starting off the week the High School YLC members held a “Tag it” event.  During the event students “Tagged” things they were above.  Some of the things the students were above were: bullying, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, littering, being raciest and many other things.   

The High School YLC members also setup color days where the students were to wear different colors representing different meanings.  Monday – White = purity; Tuesday – Blue = alcohol free; Wednesday – Red = Drugs are dangerous; Thursday – Orange = Healthy/Drug Free and Friday – Black = Death.  

A new event the students wanted to try was a “Flash Mob”.  On Tuesday night at the boys varsity basketball game the High School YLC members held a “Flash Mob” during the half time of the game, which will be available to view on the SAFE Coalition’s Blog ( later next week.  The rap that was used for the “Flash Mob” was written and sung by some of the High School members, Abby Rider was the one who coordinated the music presentation.  
The high school members also handed out “Shatter the Myths” booklets to the middle school students during lunch time at the school.  These booklets are full of drug facts and information.  Cassie Johnson helped to create a display for the display case in the gym lobby with facts, pictures and information. 

The middle school YLC members were also busy during the week. They made and hung posters around the school about National Drug Facts week.  They also made NDFW buttons and handed them out to the middle school students to wear during the week. 
To see pictures of the events from this week go to; to view the “flash mob” go to; and to find more information on the Van Buren County Youth Leadership Council and the work they do in Van Buren County go to  You can also contact the SAFE Coalition for more information at 319-293-6412 or online at